Mainz, Germany – ORGENTEC Diagnostika has a leading role in the prestigious research project EuroTEAM Arthritis (Towards Early diagnosis and biomarker validation in Arthritis Management), funded by the European Union with more than 5.7 million EUR for four years. Together with partners from 13 renowned European research institutions we present the progress of the project and our contribution to the discovery of novel biomarkers for rheumatoid arthritis at the EuroTEAM stand in the EULAR village from June 08-11.

ORGENTEC is the only diagnostic company that takes part in the project and has been invited due to the sound knowledge, technical skills and experience of our R&D department in the development of laboratory tests kits for rheumatology diagnostics. Since the invention of the innovative marker Anti-MCV ORGENTEC has a reputation as a specialist for laboratory diagnostics of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Within the scope of the project, Dr. Holger Bang, ORGENTEC’s head of research and his team in the lab have significantly contributed to the development of novel serologic biomarkers for RA. They identified a panel of novel protein modifications that may be used for autoantibody detection in addition to common ACPA and RF tests.

Studies addressing the issue of therapeutic intervention in the pre-disease phase of RA are already under way. The novel modified antigens are detectable early in the disease process, at a time point when disease onset may be prevented by early therapy. In addition, some modifications may be used to predict drug response in RA.

About 1/3 of RA patients are seronegative for common ACPA tests, with the consequence of delayed diagnosis and therapy. Several modified antigens have shown to be suitable markers to fill the diagnostic gap in seronegative RA patients.

The findings of Holger Bang and the partners in the EuroTEAM consortium have the potential to be transformed into products for diagnostic applications in the near future. Concurrent analysis of multiple modified antigens may change the laboratory diagnostic process in RA towards a multi-biomarker approach, paving the way to personalized RA diagnostics.

About EuroTEAM

The key objective of the TEAM consortium is to specifically identify diagnostic biomarkers and disease mechanisms operating during the transition from health to rheumatoid arthritis. The consortium will achieve this by developing a collaborative, integrated programme of work that links academic researchers with key SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) involved in biomarker development to produce a personalized predictive biomarker profile for patients destined to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Finally, the project will directly involve patients and other specialists, particularly from the fields of genetics, ethics and patient and public involvement in helping to visualize and communicate risk following a positive biomarker test. Within the EuroTEAM project, there are thirteen academic partners from six European countries – the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Each academic partner has world-class expertise in rheumatoid arthritis research. There are also three industry partners, from Germany, the Netherlands and Iceland, contributing competence in design and development of diagnostic test kits for autoimmune diseases, local gene therapy for rheumatic diseases, and analysis of the human genome. A small group of patient research partners, from all over Europe, also participate in the project. The patient research partners are comprised of PARE (People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe) board members and members of national rheumatic and RA patient organisations. Their involvement in the project is crucial and will give the academic and industry partners feedback on the research work carried out by the project and an insight into the experiences of RA patients. www.team-arthritis.eu

The EuroTEAM project is supported through the European Union's FP7 Health Programme under the grant agreement FP7-HEALTH-F2-2012-305549.

About ORGENTEC

Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ORGENTEC Diagnostika is a global leader in development, production, and marketing of test systems for laboratory diagnostics. ORGENTEC Diagnostika offers numerous highly specific ELISA tests, immunoblots and kits for immunofluorescence assays. Alegria®, the innovative random access analyser allows for fully automated autoimmune diagnostics and infectious disease serology. The point of care test rheumachec® has been the first rapid test for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. With subsidiaries in the USA, New Zealand and China, and distribution channels in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, and France, as well as an established global distribution network, ORGENTEC Diagnostika’s products and laboratory tests are benefitting patients in over 100 countries around the world.

Press contact at ORGENTEC
Dr. Friederike Hammar
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Phone: +49 6131 9258-674

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